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Thread: copper repair

  1. #1
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    copper repair

    I am wondering if there is a rule of thumb about how large a hole in a copper pipe you can braze over is. Sometimes a piece of pipe can be in a place that is tough to get cutters around or unsweating a joint then brazing back in is preferably avoidable like on a reversing valve. Is there some kind of guideline to let you know when the extra work is necessary? Like a 1/8 inch hole in a 3/4 pipe? Do the materials involved make a difference (soft/hard copper, 15/40% silver)?

  2. #2
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    Your only guideline is experience with the torch
    Officially, Down for the count

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    Your only guideline is experience with the torch
    X2, the siding guys drove a roofing nail through my suction line inside the wall right at the top plate the other day, I had to take down the siding, cut the osb, and there was no way to cut it so I dropped some 15% on it and all is well.

  4. #4
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    That's the answer I was hoping for.

  5. #5
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    A hole is ok to patch up. How big? As big as you can get solder to cover without falling in. A crack should alway be cut out IMHO.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    Your only guideline is experience with the torch
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    X2, the siding guys drove a roofing nail through my suction line inside the wall right at the top plate the other day, I had to take down the siding, cut the osb, and there was no way to cut it so I dropped some 15% on it and all is well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy knocker View Post
    A hole is ok to patch up. How big? As big as you can get solder to cover without falling in. A crack should alway be cut out IMHO.
    Above covers the subject from my view. Sometimes we just have to do what we can. I have removed a short section, brazed up a hole, and brazed a scrap of CO onto a larger hole.

    One cool trick (takes a little practice) I did on a 7/8 suction line: I took a 7/8 coupler, took my tin snips and cut out about 1/3 of the circumference. Then cut it down to around square (if it was flat). Then bent it back to the proper curve. Brazed this onto a hole too large to fill with brazing material. Worked fine.

    Key issue is CLEANLINESS! Brazing always works better when the surfaces are clean.

    And remember the higher the silver content of the rod, the better gap filling as well as better adhesion.

    Practice is a good thing.... might play with it a bit when you have time.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    Above covers the subject from my view. Sometimes we just have to do what we can. I have removed a short section, brazed up a hole, and brazed a scrap of CO onto a larger hole.

    One cool trick (takes a little practice) I did on a 7/8 suction line: I took a 7/8 coupler, took my tin snips and cut out about 1/3 of the circumference. Then cut it down to around square (if it was flat). Then bent it back to the proper curve. Brazed this onto a hole too large to fill with brazing material. Worked fine.

    Key issue is CLEANLINESS! Brazing always works better when the surfaces are clean.

    And remember the higher the silver content of the rod, the better gap filling as well as better adhesion.

    Practice is a good thing.... might play with it a bit when you have time.
    oh yea , i did this trick on a 5/8 tube imbedded in concrete for radiant heat....worked great....use minimum of 15% silfos , used correctly it flows like butter.....Jack
    B[COLOR=a friend is one who knows us , but loves us anyway

  8. #8
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    I like the copper patch idea for larger holes. Thanks for all your input everyone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    Above covers the subject from my view. Sometimes we just have to do what we can. I have removed a short section, brazed up a hole, and brazed a scrap of CO onto a larger hole.

    One cool trick (takes a little practice) I did on a 7/8 suction line: I took a 7/8 coupler, took my tin snips and cut out about 1/3 of the circumference. Then cut it down to around square (if it was flat). Then bent it back to the proper curve. Brazed this onto a hole too large to fill with brazing material. Worked fine.

    Key issue is CLEANLINESS! Brazing always works better when the surfaces are clean.

    And remember the higher the silver content of the rod, the better gap filling as well as better adhesion.

    Practice is a good thing.... might play with it a bit when you have time.
    Quote Originally Posted by rojacman View Post
    oh yea , i did this trick on a 5/8 tube imbedded in concrete for radiant heat....worked great....use minimum of 15% silfos , used correctly it flows like butter.....Jack
    Quote Originally Posted by jmsmars1 View Post
    I like the copper patch idea for larger holes. Thanks for all your input everyone.
    Rojacman's post reminded me of something I did last year. Off season, I agreed to replace a DWH (water heater) for 'grandma' of one of my customers. Took it out and was drilling a hole through the wall for the draimpan drain... cut the supply hot water line (all plbg in the slab). What to do? Chipped the slab back a bit, cut apart a 3/4 CO water pipe fitting, and brazed it onto the leak. Worked fine.

    The interesting thing of this: When I opened up the wall to do the plumbing repair, we found the wall was very wet inside. Seems the flue vent above the DWH was not flashed correctly and leaking. Long story short... ended up doing a $5000 repair on the house. Not exactly HVAC work... however in off season it was nice income.

    I used to run a remodeling co, so this was just a matter of pulling out some tools in storage and going to work. My HVAC install crew appreciated something to do (earn some $$$), and the customer was very happy to get it fixed.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

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    2 Chronicles 7:14

  10. #10
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    Havent tried it but a friend told me if its a large hole he would strip a piece of copper wire and wrap that around the pipe where the hole is and braze over that.
    Sounds like it would work!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackintheboxtec View Post
    Havent tried it but a friend told me if its a large hole he would strip a piece of copper wire and wrap that around the pipe where the hole is and braze over that.
    Sounds like it would work!
    I like that!! Good idea.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackintheboxtec View Post
    Havent tried it but a friend told me if its a large hole he would strip a piece of copper wire and wrap that around the pipe where the hole is and braze over that.
    Sounds like it would work!
    Interesting. I like that. I've used the patch trick before, but never that one.

    Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    Good idea! Winding some, say, 12 or 14 GA single strand CO wire around a hole... then braze the bundle... That would be less work than cutting and forming a patch. And probably easier to braze also.

    I always have some Romex on the van, for repairing electrical stuff around a furnace. Just strip it, wind it, and braze (well sand clean the CO pipe also). Probably could do this with a Dyna-flow rod rather than 15% or 45%... thus saving rod cost.

    THX for posting it.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Quality work at a fair price with excellent customer service!

    Romans Ch's 5-6-7-8

    2 Chronicles 7:14

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